New Melle Company Named No. 1 Fastest Growing Private Company in the St. Louis Area

Axiom Product Administration, owned by Mike and Laura (Schmidt) Reth, and located for the last three years in the New Melle Town Square, was recently named the 2018 fastest growing private company in the St. Louis Metro Area by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Axiom Product Administration is a full-service, finance and insurance (F&I) product provider that is fusing new and traditional vehicle protection products (vehicle service contracts, GAP, etc.) with modern, interactive technology for 500+ franchise dealerships nationwide.

Mike explained, “We manage and build protection products for dealerships in a traditional sense, but have added a high level of automation and technology, adding value to both the consumer and the dealer – and we are the first to offer this combination in our industry.”

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Mike Reth 

Mike Reth, CEO, has over 25 years experience in the Automotive Finance/Insurance, and Technology industries. He spent 17 years creating, building and managing risk based F&I protection and automotive benefit programs for some of the biggest brands in the automotive industry.

For many of those years, Mike kept waiting for someone to modernize the cumbersome, paper-dependent aspects of the industry. Finally, one day he called friend who had expertise in software development, told him what he was thinking, and asked, “Can you build this?” The answer was, “Yes!” And so it began.

Axiom has taken a 360 degree approach, offering improved protection policies delivered with cutting-edge technology, providing value to both the vehicle owner/operator in terms of convenience and transparency, as well as improved administrative efficiencies and loyalty retention benefits for automotive dealerships.

To offer improved protection products, Axiom audited existing products on the market and compared the coverage and benefits to the current and forthcoming components built into today’s vehicles. They quickly realized that many protection contracts in the market fell short of including, or specifically excluded, technical components that were at risk for failure. Mike gave an example of truck in which a computer module that controlled the transmission and drive train failed. While the actual transmission and drive train were covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, the computer module was not. The module cost $139. The repair cost, due to the labor involved, was nearly $2000.

Axiom not only offers protection products that are better designed to meet the needs of today’s technologically advanced automobiles, but they’ve also digitized the products that were previously stuffed in an envelope and thrown into the glove box.

Through Axiom’s smart phone app, COVI (Connected Owner Vehicle Intelligence), consumers can now communicate with their dealer, make service appointments, and file warranty claims without ever picking up the phone. They can reference their owner’s manual and check the manufacturer’s service recommendations (a handy reference to avoid being upsold by an unscrupulous repair shop.) Dealers can use the app to send out service due reminders and access digital documents. While Axiom’s products can be redeemed at any certified repair shop, there are incentives for returning to the purchasing dealership.

In 2016, Axiom partnered with Tile, Inc., the Silicon Valley-based smart location company in an exclusive agreement to help protect motorists from the stress and expense of losing their car keys. The Revolution Key Protection Program combines a new protection product along with a technology device and smartphone app to help locate lost or stolen key fobs. The product won the 2017 Best Product Specific Digital Media award from the publishers of AutoDealer Today.

In addition to the automotive industry, Axiom has products serving the RV, Powersports, and Agricultural industries, and will soon have Marine related products as well. Additionally, two major manufacturers are currently looking at integrating Axiom technology into their own programs which will expand Axiom’s reach to international markets.

Amazingly, all this has, and is being done in New Melle. The software is built, the new products are developed, the marketing and creative collateral is developed, and consumer claims are processed  in New Melle.

Axiom Product Administration started in 2014, with three employees working in a detached garage at Mike and Laura’s home in Defiance. Laura Reth (nee Schmidt) was born and raised in the New Melle area. She is the V.P. of Creative Marketing and Media and brings 20 years of technology focused, multimedia marketing and branding to the company.

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“Michael and I have always said, innovation can happen anywhere! We had the right mix of ideas, talent and execution come together at the right time. It has been an unforgettable journey and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Axiom because we are just getting started,” said Laura.

In August 2015, Mike and Laura, along with five other employees, moved into the upper level of the New Melle Town Square. The company currently occupies 2900 square feet and has 25 employees working in New Melle.

Mike is quick to attribute much of the company’s success to its employees, many of whom live locally in New Melle, Defiance, Marthasville, Lake St. Louis, O’Fallon. He said, “We have great people and each employee has made a tremendous impact on the growth of our business. We will continue to stay ahead of the curve and push boundaries, it is what makes each day exciting to come to work.”

Liv Vitale, Axiom’s Marketing Manager, says she loves working at Axiom. After working at a couple of large corporations, she loves the creative atmosphere. “You feel like you’re not just a number, like you really have input and your voice is being heard.”

Now Axiom is growing again.  Mike said, “We love being here, we love being part of the community. We were the first business in New Melle to pull a fiber optic line into the Town Square. However, with 25 employees and a national claims call center, we have outgrown that technology.”

The company also needs to add more employees, so in September, it will move its headquarters to 13,000 sq. ft. on Progress Parkway, along the Hwy. 40 “technology corridor”. The move will coincide with the hiring of ten more employees, and provide enough room to more than double the current staff, as the need arises.

Mike said, “The reception of our products and technology has been overwhelming. We’ve grown so fast, it’s been a blur. This is an exciting time in the automotive industry, for us, and our Axiom partners. We can’t wait to explore new possibilities, and look forward to sharing many new and revolutionary products as we continue to grow.”

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